Today aestheticism is considered a mostly 19th century philosophy, which is perhaps best summed up by Victor Cousin’s famous phrase ‘art for the art’s sake’
Followers of aestheticism thought that art and the act of creating art has its very own and intrinsic value. I.e. a value that is there in addition to any moral, social or other values intended or expressed by the artist.
Exponents of the movement included James MacNeill Whistler, and William Morris, the founder of the Arts and Crafts movement.